A Central Mission lives best on a busy street in the heart of a city. Its relevance is not in its buildings, but in its Gospel. Its preoccupation is not with its organisational structures, but with people who have needs. Whilst the Church can never impose a Faith Experience on anyone, and there are 'no strings attached' in her service to need, yet the Church has a resource for human wholeness which no other body has.
The Church will use every social work skill, and team up with the professions and statutory bodies in the whole complex of helping people to find life, but it remains true that some will never be healed without a faith experience of forgiveness and grace. I believe the Church will go on living in the city if for no other reason than that she has a word to say which no one else will say if she is silent.
As long as there is human need there will be institutions offering hospitality to the needy. However, an institution is not simply a matter of housing and economic security. Central Missions in our time are asking questions and profiting from world-wide experience in institutional care.
Missions need more skilled and professional staff to meet the enormous and complex pattern of human need. The problems related to drug dependency will increase the demand for more staff, supported as they will be by dedicated voluntary befrienders.
This is a highly mechanised and computerised society, but there are some things the computer cannot be trusted to do. The humanities are not safe in the hands of the computer. I believe Missions will put less money into bricks and steel in the future, and more and more money into the employment of more skilled staff to strengthen the